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MIT’s Unique Team Building Tool, and More – Boston News

team building tool

Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week.


Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: Music Making as an Effective Teaming ToolMIT Sloan Newsroom

The MIT Sloan School of Management recently hosted an Innovation Period workshop entitled “Music Making as Effective Teaming Tool,” which focused on leadership training through music. The workshop was developed in conjunction with New York nonprofit Found Sound Nation, which uses “collaborative sound-making as a tool to help enhance communities and build bonds.”

MIT Leadership Center Associate Director Abby Berenson explains, “Through music-making, they create a sense of community and a sense of teams, and through teams, this leadership practice. That’s really at the heart of what we try to bring for any of the SIP workshops we do.”

Sloan MBA student Faye Cheng added, “Being able to experience failure in a low-risk setting gave [me] new insight into how it can open up new avenues for creativity and innovation. It didn’t have to be a perfect sound, it was just ‘Let’s try things out and layer them on.’ In real life, it can be more daunting to fail in that way or make a decision and have to undo it later.”

You can read the full article here and listen to the students’ songs below.

How Companies Can Identify Racial and Gender Bias in Their Customer ServiceHarvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review recently published an article by HBS Organizational Behavior Ph.D. candidate Alexandra C. Feldberg and UVA Darden assistant professor of marketing Tami Kim in which they explore the prevalence of racial and gender bias within customer service.

As part of their ongoing research, Feldberg and Kim “audited 6,000 hotels in the U.S. by sending email inquiries from fictitious email accounts that signaled senders’ race and gender. By systematically examining replies to these inquiries, we observed that frontline employees were less responsive to nonwhite customers and objectively less helpful and friendly. In other words, compared to white customers, black and Asian customers received worse quality service.”

They offered four effective strategies that large companies can implement to combat racial and gender bias:

  1. “Develop anticipatory service protocols.” In other words: standardize scripts and develop rules.”
  2. “Develop channels for employee feedback” to accommodate any new customer service issues.
  3. “Emphasize not just “best” service,” which the researchers argue can be “onerous and subject to interpretation,” but “equal” service.
  4. “Diversify employees’ experiences … through hiring and employee rotations.”

You can read the full article here.

Real World Statistics with Professor Ed VieiraSimmons Blog

The Simmons School of Management blog recently re-published an interview with associate professor Edward T. Viera, Jr., whose 2017 textbook on applied statistics raised a number of interesting questions related to how big data and statistics can be utilized in the health care industry, for instance.

Professor Viera explains, “Statistics allows us to analyze complex problems and provide reliable results, which humans cannot as easily do. Statistics offers the tools to “objectively” analyze a situation so that we can make reliable, data-driven, informed decision … with unprecedented precision.”

He adds, “Through the use of health care analytics, which deploys advanced software and hardware technologies, we can monitor and adjust our research or treatment based on the collection of data in real time.”

Check out the complete interview with Professor Viera here.

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